Ingress Portal Rejections

One of the most frustrating aspects of playing Ingress is the process of submitting portals. On the one hand, it is a remarkable game feature that lets anyone, anywhere, submit portals that are then incorporated into a game played by millions of people from all over the world. In other words, there is no reason any area can’t have portals no matter how far they are from someone who works at Ingress.

On the other hand, to avoid Ingress cheaters, and other people who don’t care about the game as much as they care about their own little desires (spoofers, and bot runners are other examples) there has to be a review process to make sure that submitted portals are both legitimate and worthwhile. However, with players all over the world, submissions are numerous. As a result it takes a very long time to get submitted portals reviewed and approved. Last time I checked in with team members, it was taking nearly four months to have portals reviewed.

Check out my Credit Karma review.

The long review period in itself acts as a bit of a deterrent to Ingress cheats. After all, if it’s going to take four months before any submitted portal goes live, there is no way to submit a portal quickly and use it to build a BAF (Big Ass Field) or a flash 8 portal to gear up with. In fact, many players who submit couch portals, or other portals, aren’t the ones who end up using them. After four months, players quit, circumstances change, and so on.

The long review period also causes considerable frustration. Players attempting to get the Seer Badge, for example, not only have to find new portal candidates, they have to wait a very long time to get them approved. If you have zero submitted portals today, no matter how many amazing portal candidates you find, you will not earn the Bronze Seer Badge for at least four months. In a game with mostly real-time feedback this is hard to put up with.

Even more frustrating is when a portal you submitted, and then waited months to be reviewed, is rejected. Even more frustrating that that is that in order to make the portal review process move along even at the current glacial speed, time can’t be spent by the reviewer to tell you WHY your portal was rejected, other than the form letter text that the submitted portal doesn’t meet the requirements. And, even more frustrating than that is when a portal you submit is rejected while a very similar portal is accepted.

Keep in mind that when the game was starting more portals was a good thing. These days, some areas are choked with portals. So, what was once a good portal is not a good portal now. Cheeseman Park in Denver, Colorado, for example, is filled with portals that are memorial benches. A memorial bench, if you aren’t familiar with the concept, is nothing more than a regular park bench that someone donated money to put a little plaque on. These benches are in no way cultural. In fact, they are routinely ignored. However, they have been there for a long time, and are fun local place to play Ingress.

Rejected Ingress Portal

Still, it is a little hard to swallow when I submitted a Memorial Garden that is,

a) bigger than a bench,

b) has a bigger, more impressive sign than the bench, and

c) is in an area with just a few portals existing.

If you ever submit a portal that you know SHOULD be accepted, there is an appeal process. Don’t be a jerk though. The portal review and appeal process is already choked enough without belligerent chuckleheads insisting that their portals must be approved.Β I’m not appealing this portal rejection. After all, I know that it is in no way culturally significant, and while I want my Bronze Seer Badge to make the last lock on my stats go away, I know that it’s a judgement call. Now, if a large, beloved local statue was rejected, that would be different.

In the end, if you want your Seer Badge, of any color, start submitting portals now. You’ll need to think of them the same way you think of Guardian Portals. Just having the one and hoping it makes it is not an intelligent strategy. Submit everything you find, everywhere you go. Eventually, even though it make take months, or even a year or more, you’ll get your badges, and have plenty of new portals to play with as well.

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11 thoughts on “Ingress Portal Rejections

  1. In regards to getting badges I see this as a problem, but in terms of keeping the quality of the game high, I think this is a blessing. Looking at your photo I can’t help but shrug and say “meh, nothing special, it’s actually a terrible photo as well”. It just barely meets the minimum requirements and isn’t at all interesting or descriptive. I think the spirit of the game is to make something unique a desitnation point, not just any old memorial plaque. As players increase I think the onus is on the individual to seek out something out of the ordinary, not just a large quantity of, “it fits the requirements”. Ultimately there has to be more “no” than “yes” because you just can’t have each person submitting and receiving 100 portal locations in any city without it being an eligible hack point every 10 feet. Physical locations ARE finite after all.

    • Dan, I whole agree that I would like portals to be a bigger thing, however, benches with a tiny memorial plaque are portals all over here. I don’t think they should be either. Consistency is a bit of an issue, but otherwise, the more things to hack, link and blow up, the better, within reason of course. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Have to agree. Another problem with the long submission process is that it is self-sustaining – a suitable site may get submitted many times by a whole list of people during those months which means lots of submissions to be reviewed for a single site – I’d bet half the submissions in the queue are now duplicates. I know I’ve submitted some that seem obvious, and probably someome else has already done, but to get seer badge I hope at least a few are not already in the queue.

  3. Submitting portals is basically just screaming into the void.

    The Seer medal has become a mean joke, and it will only become increasingly harder to get over time. Portal improvements – corrected titles, locations, and descriptions, as well as reporting fake portals – need to be counted for partial Seer credit if they want that badge to remain in the game. They could also stand to cut the requirements for Seer by an order of magnitude.

    As it stands now, you might get a portal approved if you’ve been in the game a significant portion of the past two years and have already had submissions accepted, but for anyone coming in after the iOS release, hoping to get Seer is a lost cause. You may as well be hoping to get Founder some day.

  4. I’ve seen a few instances now where submissions have been rejected when other similar submissions are accepted. For instance, in Seattle there is a UW Store and a UW Commemoration Plaque within a block of each other. Both of these have portals. On an adjacent block, in an area that fewer portals, there is a WSU Store which was rejected. At this point, I have to presume that there is some sort of bias being presented based on these colleges.

    There are also three instances on my daily commute where portals have been moved/approved which are literally on top of each other on the scanner, and one cannot accurately select between them on a regular basis. Funnily enough, a new submission in an area that has less portal density got rejected for having another portal “too close” to the first.

    I don’t even know in what order they process these in, as they seem to do regions at a time, I have some that have been in the queue for three months and get rejected, and others that have been in the queue for five months without a word. All in all the submission system is probably the worst part of the game, being the crapshoot that it is, and what’s going to happen regions become so saturated with portals that there is no longer anything left that is suitable for a submission that doesn’t already have a portal for it? You’re going to have new players that are not going to be able to get that badge, and it will become exponentially more difficult to get things approved.

    What’s the point?

  5. I agree with submitt everything and let them figure out what to reject. Since unless its too close, or a duplicate, they dont tell you what the specific reason it was they rejected it, even if a similar portal was approved. Let them figure it out. I just figure I could submit twice as many portals and hopefully half of them will get approved.

  6. I just start playing this game this week and I can’t see the badge anywhere in the list. Has it been removed or doesn’t it show up until later. If I ever need to get this badge, it will be a problem. I live in a large city with just SO many portals. I even saw a portal, (which is mine at the moment by the way, for as long as that might due in this game) that is just a paving stone with a nice picture on it. Actually almost all the portals in that area make no sense. Almost inclined to report them. (Which I won’t, since like I said, they’re mine. At the moment at least ;))

  7. As someone who’s recently jumped over to ingress after hearing about it through some geocaching friends, I’m rather surprised by this long submission process. Where geocache submissions take two or three days to be approved, non-physical portals-a waypoint and a picture essentially-take 4+ months? Maybe niantic needs groundspeak to show them how an approval process should be done, and how to make a non-laggy map πŸ˜› Oh well, those two rather small quirks aside I’m definitely having a grand time hacking, attacking, and deploying my way through my city πŸ™‚

  8. Well said. There are bits of playground equipment and even movable charity clothes bins accepted as portals in Australia. It has almost stopped me playing.

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